Q. Tell us a bit of your love story?
My husband, Harley, and I met eight years ago through a mutual friend. We were not even meant to be set up through our friend, but we connected when the two of us were invited to our friend James’ party. I never believed in “love at first sight,” but the moment I saw Harley walk into the room, I knew he was “the one.” I was drawn towards his infectious smile and radiant energy. We danced the night away and met for our official first date on Cinco De Mayo, two days after we met. Our first date was spent at Doc Watson’s, an Irish bar, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We met at 2 pm and talked until one is. It was the best first date for both of us, and the rest is history.
Q. What brought you to Kindbody?
We got married on March 23, 2018, and immediately started trying to conceive. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would struggle with creating life. We both were incredibly healthy, and never did we think we were that “1 in 8.” That happens to other people, not us…right? Well, we were wrong – we tried to conceive naturally for a year. Then decided to seek help. My OBGYN referred me at the time to a fertility specialist. We did 1 IUI with him, and I didn’t care for the group. So we went to another fertility specialist in Manhattan and had one unsuccessful IUI with him. After that, I was feeling very overwhelmed and had randomly stumbled upon Kindbody. I was immediately drawn and very curious about what Kindbody was. Once I visited the site, I knew in my gut; I had to go to this fabulous clinic! I am so glad I did. We ended up doing 2 IUIs with KB, and those were unsuccessful; that is when we were advised to proceed with IVF. I was terrified and frustrated. Our diagnosis was unexplained infertility. It is not fun to have an “I don’t know” diagnosis, but I knew some way or the other we would get our miracle baby.
Q. What was the most challenging part of your journey?
I often thought the medications and surgeries that had to be done would have been the most challenging part of the journey because it can be physically taxing. However, that was not the most difficult part of the journey – what proved to be the most challenging was the emotional and mental stress surrounding the journey. Waking up in the middle of the night and asking myself, “why me or why us?” Thinking that we would never have a child together. My husband and I are best friends and truly desired to share and experience parenthood together. The journey can be incredibly lonely at times, especially for me. I knew I had my husband cry and lean on, but the loneliness we as females experience during this journey is sometimes hard to explain.
Q. What did your fertility journey look like?
We started our IVF journey in July of 2020. And honestly, the process was not as bad as I thought. I kept away from the internet and stopped comparing my journey with others. My biggest support was from my husband! He administered all the injections, and I kept my body strong by maintaining a healthy diet and active lifestyle. It felt like a breeze before the egg retrieval. We could get a handful of embryos that made it to Day 5, but only two were good after PGT. Finally, November 25, 2020, we transferred our beautiful five-day PGT embryo by Dr. Amiee Seungdamrong. It was a magical moment to watch my baby get implanted in my uterus. As much as I dreaded going through this entire process, I will say that sometimes I feel sorry for people who don’t need fertility treatment because they can’t even begin to comprehend what I or others went through to get to this point. I feel grateful for my journey and wouldn’t change a thing. I came out stronger and more grateful. Also, I witnessed the miracle of life and how it forms from such an early stage. Who gets to watch their future child be implanted in their uterus and then see ultrasounds of the baby as early as six weeks.
Q. What piece of advice would you give to struggling mother figures out there or women who are dealing with infertility?
I think it is essential to establish a solid support system and be open and not ashamed of your fertility struggles. I also have reminded so many women that I know this is a prevalent issue. More light continues to be shed on this topic, from celebrities to public figures. Yes, it is very frustrating, and you will never stop with the ‘why me’ question, but this is also a very beautiful process. I always tell women that you will get your baby. Just stay as positive as you can and never compare your journey to others. I try to make it clear as possible to ask as many questions to their providers because this is a very emotionally and physically taxing journey. To never feel ashamed of the questions you need to be answered.
Q. You mentioned, talking about fertility challenges can sometimes be taboo in the South Asian community. By sharing your story, what do you hope to achieve?
Thank god for my very supportive and open family. I thought it was very important to share with them all that it was not easy for us to create life on our own and that after a year of trying naturally, we needed help from science. There is such a lack of knowledge on reproductive assistance within, and I feel like the woman can often be blamed for fertility challenges. By sharing my story, I hope that I will inspire other South Asian women to be more open with their family and friends, and we will continue to make strides in better educating everyone. After all, knowledge is power.
I am very proud of myself. I am proud of my body, and not ashamed that she needed a little help from science. I am proud of how strong mentally and physically I have been during the IVF process and now during pregnancy. Game on for labor. When I tell people that I am pregnant, I share with everyone (even strangers) that we got our miracle baby via IVF – I never leave that out…never!